Winter is here, the UK is entering a recession, layoffs and hiring freezes are on the rise, and the legal industry is bracing itself.
Thankfully, Chrissie Lightfoot, aka #TheNakedLawyer, has been preparing for this, and looking for ways that the industry can power through the recession. In her previous article (find it on our Thought Leadership Blog here) Chrissie already began looking for the next HUGE thing in legal tech. In her search for stability, continuity, and the next huge thing in LegalTech she visited the Betty Blocks office in Alkmaar.
Now Chrissie wonders whether this moment is an opportunity. What if “there is a way for these human lawyer drought-ridden legal providers to offer a LawTech service/product to plug the law firm income gap loss, as well as make a substantial gain,” wonders Chrissie. What if firms can find a way to leverage LegalTech and LawTech to make up for their loss in human resources and to establish new revenue streams?
On her search for ways to power through the recession, #TheNakedLawyer looked for ways that “law firms and legal departments [are] adopting, implementing, and deploying expert systems (low-code / no-code (LCNC)) for their benefit internally and, more importantly, externally.” She found that, by leveraging LCNC platforms to DIY build client-facing digital solutions, innovative firms could create new income streams and power through a recession. And in her search for the right platform Chrissie says; “I keep coming back to Betty Blocks.” Why? Download the article or check out the sneak peek.
Let's see a little sneak peek...
FRESH from her European jaunt over the summer to Betty Blocks HQ in Alkmaar, in the Netherlands, and a recent trip to London for the Legal Innovators conference1 to check out the variety of stalwart and novel LegalTech providers at their exhibition stands, The Naked Lawyer is happily back behind her neat and gleaming desk in a bright, warm and cosy office at Lightfoot Towers, in Leeds, Yorkshire.
Having absorbed the knowledge sharing and opinions of those who delivered conference talks, engaged in panel sessions, and conversed at length with fellow enthusiastic and curious delegates, she is edging slowly but surely towards finding that ‘next huge thing’ in Law Law Land, as announced and deliberated on in the first article of this discovery trilogy. (Btw, if you missed this hugely popular piece, and suffer from FOMO, you can read it here2😉)
Quietly confident now of achieving her (and my) goal with the belief in the hypothesis that “in adversity there is opportunity”, the global recession looming does not deter her optimism, particularly as she has spoken with a great number of innovative, pioneering, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial LegalTech lawyers, general counsel, techies, c-suite people (including those at the very top) in ivory tower law firms (large and small) and companies (aka those in the Legal Operations (Legal Ops)/Legal departments), and most importantly the buyers of legal advice, services and products. What we (The Naked Lawyer and I) have learned confirms our view that there really isn’t a better time than the present to evaluate, test and act on this hypothesis...
Winter HAS come...recession afoot
It’s official. UK PLC is in recession, reports The Times newspaper3. Output across the UK economy fell for the fourth month in a row this month. The UK is the first major economy to formally enter a downturn since the end of last year when the pandemic was still raging. Albeit other economies are not quite here yet, alarm bells are ringing and reverberating elsewhere in the world.
One must only listen to or read the various legal, business, or mainstream media doom and gloom reporting on the recent layoffs and/or hiring freezes at home and ‘across the pond’ in relation to big tech and law firms. Large companies are usually the last to conduct such a cull or freeze, so maybe this is a sign of things to come? Law.com International suggests that “a ‘worrisome' start to 2023 is expected for law firms”4.
And yet, imho, I do not believe it is, or will be, as dire as portrayed in the media, because there appears to be conflicting opinion regarding what may be media conjecture in contrast to what people are actually thinking, feeling and saying in private.
For example, my Chatham House Rules chats this month with several LegalTech directors/managers, heads of legal innovation departments and legal ops departments, and partners in top tier/top 50 law firms and boardroom corporations, reveal that they are not panicking – yet. Far from it. They are actually gearing up to capitalise on the global recession by building further on their combined ‘human and machine’ foundations and bedrock.
Show me the money!
There is real opportunity to make significant money, via an entirely new income stream in a recession through building and offering DIY self-service client-facing LawTech products. It doesn’t matter whether you are a start-up entrepreneur with little more than a brilliant idea at present, an audacious ALSP, or a multi-jurisdictional behemoth of a law firm with 10,000+ lawyers spread across many countries and continents with an Aladdin’s cave of gold to spend.
The secret (for an expert system/LCNC tech company and its client, i.e., the creator of the idea) is …
Are you curious to know more, and what the lucrative secret is to powering through the recession? 😉 Read the full bumper article here:
Chrissie is an Independent Non-Executive Director and Advisor, a global multi-award-winning Legal Futurist, Consultant, Influencer, Entrepreneur, Lawyer, AI LawTech Pioneer, Strategist, Marketeer, Brand builder, best-selling Author and Keynote Speaker. Founder and CEO of EntrepreneurLawyer Ltd. Chief Tech Advisor and Writer to Modern Law (Chair of the ‘Technology in Law Law Land’ roundtable).
*** This is the second of three articles. Did you miss the first one? Check it out here. And watch this space for the third instalment of the 'Naked Lawyer Trilogy' Out soon(ish)! *wink* *grin* *smile* *hugs* from The Naked Lawyer xxx ***
1hosted by Richard Tromans together with Cosmonauts
3Newsletter: Times Business Briefing: 23 Nov 2022